Tacoma, Pierce County pick operator for planned youth crisis center

The City of Tacoma and Pierce County have selected Community Youth Services, through a competitive Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, as the operator of a planned Youth and Young Adult Crisis Center and Emergency Shelter.

The City and County are working together to address youth homelessness. According to the most recent Point-in-Time Count that was conducted in January 2014, throughout the year nearly 500 youth and young adults in Pierce County are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including “couch surfing.” Access Point for Housing has identified over 300 unaccompanied youth and young adults who are in need of housing and critical support services.

“The crisis center and emergency shelter will fill a gap in service that currently exists in Tacoma and Pierce County for our youth,” said Pamela Duncan, City of Tacoma human services division manager. “We know this is an important service that is vitally needed in our community.”

The City and County have partnered to select an operator and provide funding for the purchase, rehabilitation and ongoing operations of the Center. The youth and young adult crisis center and emergency shelter is still in the planning phases. Community Youth Services, a youth service organization based in Olympia, Wash., will work with the City and County to locate a site and prepare for Center operations. The partners will begin a search for a center location in the first quarter of 2015.

“Community Youth Services brings over 40 years of experience working with youth and young adults in crisis,” said Tess Colby, Pierce County housing, homelessness and community development division manager. “We look forward to partnering with this agency to bring much needed services to vulnerable youth and young adults.”

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***UPDATE | Tues., Dec. 30 @ 1:20 p.m. – Tacoma City Council’s Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue during a public meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Thurs., Jan. 8, at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., Conference Room 248, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the agenda and staff memo are available here and here, respectively.

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